Brain cancer - alternative treatments that work?

Brain cancer - alternative treatments that work?

There are definitely alternative and complementary treatments for brain tumours that can increase your personal odds of survival; from Dendritic cell vaccines to cannabis, and cutting blood sugar, taking certain supplements and/or off-label drugs; here are some that have increased survival and even cured GBM and astrocytoma brain cancer.

The search for new brain cancer treatments

If the orthodox therapies won’t cure, are you doomed? Or are there alternative treatments that can work; or complementary therapies that can increase your personal odds of survival? Here Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and member of the CANCERactive Medical Board looks at how you might increase your brain cancer treatment options. 

Professor Thomas Seyfried and his team believe that brain cancer is a metabolic disorder; not a mutation inside the DNA but the product of changes around the DNA; for example, methylation, identified as causing cancer by the Science of Epigenetics. Sure enough, about 20% of brain cancers are methylating, and Temozolomide was designed to treat exactly this. Seyfried has produced a review of the problems and solutions in orthodox brain cancer treatment here.  When you have read it you will be even more convinced to look for alternative brain cancer treatments!

From what I have personally observed, it is not impossible to beat a brain cancer; the odds are just stacked against you. Only recently a breast cancer patient was referred to me by her friend for a Personal Programme. When I asked who the friend was, the patient gave me a name and said, "You built a programme for her and her GBM brain cancer 15 years ago!"

One of my favourite quotes is "I believe you can be cured. The cancer may be in remission, but it can be in remission permanently". This was uttered by Dr. Henry Friedman, one of America’s top oncologists. And he specialises in brain tumours at Preston Robert Tisch Center, part of Duke’s Cancer Center in North Carolina.

Where people do beat a Grade 3 or 4 brain tumour, it is nearly always done by thoroughness and determination. 

       * Do I know an alternative treatment protocol that has been used by someone to beat a glioma? Yes. 

       * Do I know a treatment protocol that cures all gliomas? No.

But there’s a huge amount you can do for yourself to increase your personal odds of survival.

Alternative and complementary treatments for brain tumours

So here are some alternative brain cancer treatments that have worked - yes, they cured a brain cancer.

1. Cutting blood sugar

     1.a. A Ketogenic Diet

The basic belief is that brain cancer is especially driven by free glucose. And if the cancer cannot obtain glucose it dies. Unfortunately it's not that simple. Cancer - including brain cancer - can move on to consuming glutamate, a by-product of the amino acid glutamine, if there's no glucose around. Glutamate exists throughout my body (for example, my muscles are full of glutamine, and my brain stores 25% of my glutamine/glutamate as it needs the energy}. Professor Seyfried is the main champion of the Ketogenic Diet and he advocates a rigorous version of the Keto diet -  2% of your calories from carbohydrates (to reduce glucose), 8% from protein (to reduce glutamate) and 90% from good oils and fats.

And be clear. He advocates the same 'good' fats as are in the Rainbow Diet - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fish oils, Nuts (walnuts, almonds) and Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower) and avocados.

Like me, Seyfried believes Coconut Oil (which is 90% saturated fat and highly inflammatory) and beef bone broth (which is full of glutamine), are totally off limits if you have a brain cancer.

Go to: The Ketogenic Diet

Go to: Foods to eat; foods to avoid for the Ketogenic Diet

Pablo Kelley beat his Brain Tumour on the Keto Diet. But he has an important safety net - he has an  HD1 mutation - if his brain cancer cannot find sugar, it is finished because it cannot use glutamate as an alternative fuel.

     1.b. An ATKINS DIET 

Andrew Scarborough beat his GBM on a Ketogenic Diet; except it wasn't the true Keto diet. His Website has the heading 'Eat Meat, drink water'. Half way down the home page the heading says 'Lamb is your friend'. This is actually an Atkins Diet, which is nil glucose, nil carbohydrate. That would almost certainly help fight a brain tumour. St Thomas' Hospital, London have been using an Atkins Diet and producing increased survival times.

Frankly, I meet a lot of people who tell me that they are on a Ketogenic diet when in reality they are not.

2. Cutting blood sugar directly

Do you really need the strict regimen of an Atkins or Ketogenic Diet? Could you eat nourishing whole carbs and still ensure your fasting blood sugar was around 4.5 (the Keto Diet target))? Yes, you definitely can. The drug Metformin does exactly this for people with type 2 diabetes. Clinical Research shows the herb Berberine achieve the same glucose-lowering effect, but also attacks the AMPK pathway of cancer cells and is an anti-inflammatory.

Reducing blood sugar also enhances the action of drugs like Temozolomide. There is research on the use of metformin and berberine both improving the effectiveness of Temozolomide and also limiting brain tumour growth.

3. GBM and Dendritic Cell Vaccines

We have a number of mentions of this on this Website

i) Amy beat her GBM by surrounding her Dendritic Cell Vaccine from Duke's Carolina with a host of supplements, exercise and her faith.

Go to: Amy's GBM beating story

ii). Dr. Orin BlochAssistant Professor of Neurological Surgery, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, has been testing a personalised ’vaccine’ made from the actual tumour brain cancer tissue and a Heat Shock Peptide Protein Complex (HSPPC-96). See Research HERE.  Phase two has been completed with 90% of patients alive after 6 months; 30% after one year. A mean increment of survival for just the vaccine is 42.6 weeks. Next comes a clinical trial with the vaccine plus Avastin.

iii) King's College London have been taking the European lead on a Dendritic Cell Vaccine DCVax-L which for a third of the Phase III trial patients saw several live more than 7 years and a mean of 42 months. 

Go to: King's College London GBM vaccine trial

4. Repurposing 'old' drugs 

Professor Ben Williams was a Professor of University of California San Diego when he developed a brain tumour - a glioblastoma, GBM - in 1995. He did his research, talked to friends and used a number of common ’repurposed’ old drugs not ordinarily used with brain tumours - and has completely beaten the disease.

He used Metformin, Melatonin (the sleeping drug), Verapramil (for blood pressure), Cimetidine (an antihistamine), Tamoxifen (an estrogen regulator) and Accutane (an acne drug). All, have side-effects. They do something against cancer - melatonin attacks cancer in about 5 ways, cimetidine reduces cancer spread, Accutane helps convert cancer stem cells to mere mortals and tamoxifen and melatonin deal with an oestrogen element in most brain cancers.

Williams is now over 70 years of age. Orthodox oncologists will not be happy with his findings, but there is a film about him and he has support from a number of sources including the UK Brain Tumour Charity.

Go to: How Ben Williams beat his GBM brain cancer

There are a number of drugs that have been repurposed to make existing treatments work much better, or even for use as alternative brain cancer therapies. For example: 

Mebendazole is a parasite killer that disrupts the growth of cancer cells by attacking microtubules and tubulin.
 
Cimetidine, Desloratadine and Loratadine are antihistamines which have a metastases-restricting effect.
 
And Methadone, which seems to extend TMZ active life
 
And tricyclic anti-depressants
 
And the malaria drug chloroquine - 
 
And ibudilast increases to effectiveness of Temozolomide
 
Some patients hate the idea of Dexamethasone (it has even been called the Devil's Drug) - a steroid used to stop the headaches and worse as the brain pushes against the cranium. Dexamethasone also pushes blood sugar higher, in effect feeding the brain tumour. Some people use the off-label drug Celebrex, an anti-inflammatory, instead.  
 
 
5.  Supplements can and do fight brain cancer
 
Of course diet is important. We know the brain is poisoned by sugar and brain cancer is fed by sugar. But cancer is also spread by bad fat and driven by inflammation. Chronic inflammation can be countered by foods. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, fish oils, berries like raspberries and cranberries, and nuts like walnuts all increase levels of anti-inflammatory compounds in the blood stream because they nourish the good bacteria in your gut that make them.
 
Ben Williams completely changed his diet adding genestein (from red clover, soy beans), PSK (a mushroom extract with strong anti-cancer benefits), flax seed (which is anti-estrogenic, feeds your gut bacteria and helps oxygenate the blood), borage seed oil (for gamma linoleic acid), and then he ate berries, garlic and lots of sprouting seeds and drank green tea. Not surprisingly, we use all of this when Chris builds  Personal Prescriptions for people anyway, as it is part of a Rainbow Diet.
 
We also use supplements. Many people with brain cancer have a period of remission. Dr. Young S. Kim is head of Nutrition and Cancer at the National Cancer Institute. She is an Epigeneticist and research she has commissioned for the NCI talks of keeping cancer in remission by eating foods that contain strong natural compounds - for example, sprouting seeds (sulforaphanes), curcumin (turmeric), piperine (black pepper), EGCG (green tea), genestein (Red clover).
 
There is a lot of research on supplements with brain tumours, particularly on curcumin, fish oils, B vitamins, chokeberry, echinacea, medicinal mushrooms. 
 
Vitamin D3 supplementation is also essential as approximately 80% of newly diagnosed brain cancer patients have low levels. And people who have cancer and maintain low levels, survive least. Vitamin D has several actions, one of which is to arm the immune system. Without adequate levels of vitamin D, the immune system simply does not work properly.

Perhaps the definitive list of research-supported supplements for brain cancer comes from air hostess Amy who was being treated at the same time as Catherine but by world expert Dr. Henry Friedman at Duke’s Cancer Center in Carolina. She is alive and well fifteen years on, and has two children.  She built an integrative programme of diet and supplements, and Friedman gave her Dendritic Cell Therapy, which to this day still has no Phase III clinical trials to support it.

We have extensive research on this Website on which supplements help. Amy got the list 100% right. 

Go to: How Amy used supplements to beat brain cancer

6. Cannabis can help beat brain cancer

Yes, people do beat brain cancer using Cannabis. What's the correct dose? Rick Simpson suggested people used a gram. Most practitioners say a quarter of that can blow people's brains and is 'enough to work'! The next issue is the mix of cannabinoid ingredients. Natural cannabis is THC 70% to CBD 30%. But many practitioners believe that with brain cancer the ratio for treatment should be 1:1. There is actually a prescription drug - it has been available for 5 years or more - called SATIVEX. It's THC:CBD, one to one.

Go to: Can Cannabis Cure Cancer?

7. Homeopathy can help fight brain cancer - there's even a clinical trial

The Banerji Protocol: Father and son homeopaths in Calcutta have been treating brain tumours with Ruta and Calcarea Phosphorica (See HERE), (and HERE) and stood up over a decade ago presenting their successes at a US Cancer Conference. MD Anderson researchers worked on a clinical trial with them under the gaze of the FDA. And the trial went well. With 44 patients there was no recurrence in 63.6% of them. The research was covered on the MD Anderson website, but has since disappeared. Banerji will reply when contacted, as will Dr. Sen Pathak, Professor of Cell Biology at MD Anderson, Texas. 

8. Electrical Fields help fight brain cancer

The Optune System looks mad but it just might save your life. You walk round with it on your head. The drawback is that it is expensive. 

Go to: The Optune system improves TMZ treatment and survival     

Dr. Roger Stupp is the expert on Optune and this treatment has been through Phase III clinical trials.
 
"This study aimed to improve survival in glioblastoma, which is the most aggressive and malignant primary brain tumor in adults. The study involved 80 centers worldwide and randomized a total of 695 patients to receiving either standard of care – either temozolomide/radiation, followed by temzolomide, or temozolomide/radiation, followed by temozolomide plus TTFields.
 
The results demonstrated a 37% reduction in risk of death when adding TTFields to temozolomide/chemotherapy. To illustrate those results at 2 years, this means the overall survival is increasing from 30% to 43%, and there is a maintenance of this absolute benefit at 3, 4, and even 5 years," Stupp explains.
 

9. Virotherapy - the new way of fighting brain cancer?

It would be fair to say this is a developing area of Alternative brain cancer treatment, rather than the finished product. 

i). Researchers at the University of Leeds, led by Susan Short and the Institute of Cancer Research in London are using the Reovirus to selectively attack brain tumour cells. The virus attacks brain cancer cells without attacking healthy cells. It simultaneously boosts the immune system. To date the research shows it works, but it does not work for everyone and it cannot be repeated. The report is here.

ii). A team of researchers has shown that the specific properties of the Zika virus lead it to treating GBM and brain cancers. Early work is promising. The virus targets growing brain cells and can thus target rapidly growing brain cancer cells. Researchers from Washington University Medical School are also modifying the virus so that it cannot cause harm to humans. Human Clinical Trials are planned in 2020. Scientists from Cambridge University are also treating brain tumours with modified Zika virus.

iii). Moira Brown and her team in Scotland are using virotherapy in trials with GBM. Read more here. Since 2001, they have been working with a modified Herpes virus which multiplies rapidly inside brain cancer cells. In a June 2018 reported study, researchers at the University of Alabama took 6 children with brain tumours and used a genetically engineered herpes virus, HSV - 1 G207. The treatment proved safe in all 6, with a good response seen in 5 subjects.

iv). Duke Cancer Institute researchers have completed a Clinical Trial using the Polio Virus. Phase 1 of the Trial took place in 2012 with some very good results. As usual, the modified virus both attacks brain cancer cells and also boosts immune response. A follow-up study was reported in June 2018. The mean survival time for the 61 patients increased by a little over 10%. Annik Desjardins, one of the researchers said that the virotherapy results looked very similar to immunotherapy results in that the majority of patients seem to get little from the treatment, but some people get a significant response. One woman survived 2.5 years until a recurrence, and then went for the treatment again.

Go to: The Definitive Overview of Brain Cancer- symptoms, causes and alternative treatments

 

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